Having a fire extinguisher is crucial to the safety of your restaurant, your employees, and your customers. It is therefore important that you understand associated components and terminology so that you know how to choose a fire extinguisher that’s right for you.
Pounds and Charges
- The size of a fire extinguisher--the amount of extinguishing agent it holds--is most often measured in pounds, while certain larger extinguishers like our Class K wet chemical fire extinguisher are measured in liters.
- The WebstaurantStore offers only rechargeable fire extinguishers, which means that they are built to be reused. Whenever a rechargeable fire extinguisher is used, however, it needs to be recharged before going back into service.
Non-rechargeable fire extinguishers, meanwhile, are often less expensive, but are constructed in a manner that allows them to be used only once. Even if only partially discharged, a non-rechargeable fire extinguisher must be replaced after it is used.
Please note that either type of extinguisher must be serviced whenever its seal is broken, for any reason. Reasons may include: usage, aging, external tampering and more.
Whether you have a rechargeable or non-rechargeable fire extinguisher, it is important that you have a certified company or AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) service it annually.
Fire Extinguisher Types Explained
Fire Extinguisher Types Explained
Now that you have an understanding of the different fire classes, knowing which fire extinguisher types to select should be a bit easier. For further clarity, explanations of the extinguishers offered at the WebstaurantStore are listed below.
Although people generally look for a class A fire extinguisher, class B fire extinguisher, or class C fire extinguisher, you only need one type to fight these three fire classes. Filled with a dry chemical agent called mono ammonium phosphate, Type ABC fire extinguishers can fight class A, B, and C fires. This agent is corrosive and, as a result, must be scrubbed off of contacted surfaces once the fire is out. These extinguishers are often found in homes, schools, and general office buildings.
Class K fire extinguishers are of tremendous importance to commercial kitchens. Class K fire extinguishers contain a blend of Potassium Acetate and Potassium Citrate that is extremely effective in combating fires fueled by cooking oils (including self-heating unsaturated oils) and greases used in commercial cooking appliances. This restaurant fire extinguisher sprays a mist so that the oils don’t splash and it creates a solid barrier between the extreme heat source and oxygen so that it will not be able to reignite.
Halotron fire extinguishers will extinguish Class B, Class C, and in select models, Class A fires. While other extinguishers can leave a powder residue, the liquid dispersed by Halotron extinguishers evaporates before it can cling, does not cause static or thermal shock, and is non-conducting. These characteristics make Halotron fire extinguishers advantageous in offices, clean rooms, and storage areas with delicate electronic equipment.
Co2 fire extinguishers are designed for fighting Class C electrical fires or fires caused by electronic equipment. A carbon dioxide fire extinguisher works by displacing oxygen in the area in which it is used in order to suffocate the fire and rob it of its fuel source. Because of this aspect, they are not recommended for use in confined spaces.
Water fire extinguishers are made to combat Class A fires, whereas a water mist extinguisher can combat both Class A and C fires effectively. Since both types of fire extinguisher do not contain chemical components, they are an ideal choice for those who wish to avoid chemicals and are used frequently in libraries, schools, and businesses.
Purple K fire extinguishers make use of a dry chemical component to combat Class B and C fires. Although the name might suggest it can be used for Class K fires, these extinguishers are not effective against those types. A Purple K extinguisher is most effective against flammable liquids like tars, petroleum greases, oil-based paints, solvents, alcohol, and flammable gases, as well as electrical fires.
Decoding UL Rating
You will find a UL Rating in the title of the fire extinguishers offered here at the WebstaurantStore. For example, an ABC Fire Extinguisher might have a UL Rating of 4-A:80-B:C. But what do these fire extinguisher ratings mean? The numbers in the UL Rating are a relative measurement of how effective a given extinguisher is at fighting certain classes of fires, based on proper fire extinguisher training.
- A: The number in front of the “A” measures the extinguisher’s water equivalency. A single A is equivalent to 1.25 gallons of water, so a unit with a fire extinguisher rating of 4-A has an equivalent of 5 gallons of water to battle Class A fires.
- B: The number in front of the “B” illustrates a relative measurement of how much square footage the extinguisher can cover.
- C & K: These letters indicate that an extinguisher can be used effectively against these fire classes.
Now that you know exactly what the numbers mean, let’s observe how extinguishers compare qualitatively to one another. Let’s compare an extinguisher with a 4-A:80-B:C rating to one with a 1-A:10-B:C rating.
Based on what you’ve learned above, you know that:
- 4-A:80-B:C is 4x more potent against Class A fires than 1-A:10-B:C.
- 4-A:80-B:C is 8x more potent against Class B fires than 1-A:10-B:C.
- Both extinguishers can combat class C fires.
It is always a good idea to invest in a fire extinguisher for your company vehicle, but storing the extinguisher loosely can cause damage to the unit. Some fire extinguishers offered by the WebstaurantStore ship with DOT approved vehicle brackets so that you can mount your extinguisher securely to one of the side panels of a trunk or beneath one of the front seats in your vehicle. All fire extinguishers that don’t come with a vehicle bracket ship with a standard wall mounting kit so that you can mount an extinguisher in a prominent location within your establishment.
Sometimes, however, you may want more than a fire extinguisher wall mount get the most out of your extinguisher, and the WebstaurantStore has the signs, labels, and other accessories you need.
Heavy Duty Vehicle Bracket
A top of the line vehicle mounting unit, our heavy duty vehicle bracket features a wide back and bottom with six 1” diameter rubber pads and a stainless steel pull-pin restraining strap for a secure fit.Shop for Heavy Duty Vehicle Brackets
Surface Mount Cabinets
The WebstaurantStore offers two types of surface mount cabinets that offer premium tamper-proof protection for your extinguishers. We offer one cabinet that has a locking seal with a durable polystyrene cover, while another surface mount cabinet provides an added layer of protection by including safety locks as well as a breaker bar and chain.Shop for Surface Mount Cabinets
Our semi-recessed fire extinguisher cabinet offers the protection of a solid, enclosed space with the added benefits associated with a recessed construction. A fire extinguisher built into a wall is less visually detracting than one mounted onto a wall, and it also minimizes the chance for accidental damage in high-traffic areas.Shop for Recessed Cabinets
Our fire extinguisher cover offers affordable protection of your extinguisher within naturally damp/humid areas such as basements and steam kitchens. The cover is water and mildew resistant and is held in place by convenient, quick-release velcro fasteners.Shop for Fire Extinguisher Covers
Signs & Labels
We offer fire extinguisher labels with a vibrant red background and lettering on top of a white arrow. These labels can be used directly over top of an extinguisher to call attention to its location from far away, or can be used to point employees in the direction of the nearest extinguisher. You can also mark the door of an individual room with one of our white signs imprinted with a bold, red fire extinguisher.
When a fire ignites, it is natural to panic and have a lapse in memory. These signs help employees maintain their composure and shave valuable seconds off of locating the extinguisher when the heat is on.Shop for Fire Extinguisher Signs & Labels